Dear ART at 26

20190208_175707

Dear Art at 26,

Whew, Chil-lay! 25 did NOT go as planned in more ways than one. But, you made it here and you DESERVE to be here. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to smile. You deserve to thrive. Why? Because with all that life has thrown you this past year, you’ve still managed to find the silver lining in a lot of crazy experiences. Also, you deserve everything just for simply existing. That’s one new lesson that you’ve definitely learned this past year. Surviving IS doing something. It takes courage to just make it through the day when everything and everyone seems to just not get it. You survived 25 and I’m so proud of you for that because at times it did not seem like the easiest thing to do.

I don’t know if we would call this stage “getting old” or “shit happens”, but a lot of all that has happened, and it was A. Lot! Life will life. Don’t forget that. Also, don’t forget that Art will make Art out of the materials she is given. It wasn’t and won’t always be easy but it’s necessary. It is essential that you don’t forget who you are because of what has happened in your life. It is important to remember that while you will change in the coming years, your core essence still remains the same and always get back to her when you feel like you have lost your way.

So, yeah, as much as we thought we grew from 24 to 25, 25 to 26 kind of took the cake. We’re not in competition or nothing, but 25 showed out with the tests and lessons thrown our way. But, made it from the bottom, now we’re halfway there! Whatever there is… So with all that growing, please, please, please find ways to document, document, document! Because you WILL need reference materials as you continue to go through life. Think of it as your personal life cheat sheet J.

Oh, yeah, that thing you do where you find little pockets of time and space to be selfish, even in the times of storm, continue to do that. You’ll need that. You’ll need those moments of clarity and solace to be able to operate effectively. This year has been a little more bearable because of those moments of selfishness. You can’t take care of everyone else if you’re not taking care of yourself.

That brings of a very great point… Trust. Your. Growth. You’ve come very far. You have to trust who you are now. You’ve worked hard to get here and it’s important not to revert back because you continue to look back. I know it’s easier said than done, but while we appreciate who you once were, it’s time to celebrate who you are now and where you are going. Just because you may go through a period where you aren’t actively moving forward (Because of life), doesn’t mean you are going backward. You have to trust your growth more than that.

Give yourself space to think AND listen. Sometimes your body is simply trying to talk to you, but if you don’t have the ear to hear, you can miss out on some important information. That also brings me to an important point that you should never forget. Your peace of mind is PRICELESS. If something doesn’t feel right, it is better to be safe than sorry. You know when something is not right. Always be your strongest advocate and make sure you keep records of everything. You never know when you may need them.

Don’t forget that there are people waiting for you to let them in. You don’t always have to be the strong one. You have more support than you know if you’d allow yourself to be open enough to accept. I know you and I know you won’t even go overboard (It’s not our style).

This year has been crazy, but it’s felt good in a lot of ways. I want you to know that God has you, your family has you, your friends have you and most importantly, you have you. You are on a winning team. You are the winning team. I can’t tell you what to expect this next ART year, but I can tell you that I have full confidence in your ability to make it through and doing a great fucking job because I believe in you.

Remember just how much you rose to the occasion this year. Honestly, you showed out. The growth jumped out! It wasn’t easy, but you found a way and made it work. A resourceful queen! I’m so very proud of you for everything you’ve done.

Also knowing when to ask for help and when to make it on your own. That’s a gift to know yourself that well. It’s a blessing. Keep on using your wisdom in those situations.

Just because this year wasn’t the easiest, doesn’t mean you have to have a tainted idea of this next year. Instead, I want you to be hopeful. Careful, but hopeful. This year will manifest greatly.

One big takeaway I can’t Thank God enough for you going into a new ART year is the vision! You found out what it feels like to really want something and that’s a beautiful thing. This year Will Be the year a lot of your hard work pays off. The vision is clear and what is yours, is yours. You know this all feels different and it’s a blessing to be able to pass the baton to someone so ready for all these blessings ready to rain on you.

So, go into this new ART year with great expectations, an open mind, determination, graciousness, faith and love.

I love you soo much.

P.S. Back-up EVERYTHING!

Love,

Art at 25

Things I’ve Learned About Being A Creative From Beyoncé

untitled design

This year, I’ve been more creatively free than I’ve ever been. This year was also historic for Beyoncé. Having the opportunity to witness Beychella in person, I was inspired to write about the things I’ve learned about being a creative from Beyoncé. Of course, people could (and have) write an entire dissertation on Beyonce and her creativity, I decided to write a quick list of the ones that have inspired me. Enjoy!

mrs. carter beyonce GIF

  • Release content when you’re ready, not when it’s demanded.
  • Regardless of what people want, release what speaks to you and what makes you happy. You can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t try to.

Apathetic Mood GIF

  • Be sensitive about your creations. Don’t allow everyone to have an opinion during your creative process. Remember, you are the creator, this is your work.beyonce fashion GIF
  • Learn the power in silence and let your work speak for itself.
  • Keep a tight circle around you that you can trust to keep your secrets. We don’t do leaks!

beyonce no GIF

  • Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. You never know who’s looking.           you ready beyonce GIF
  • Tell people what you did, not what you’re doing. Don’t release premature information that’s not solidified. When you decide to show up, make sure you show out.

i've arrived i'm here GIF

  • Don’t be afraid to take chances. Everyone won’t get it, but remember, Quality is quality and THAT is undeniable.
  • It’s none of your business what the other girls are doing or what anybody else thinks of your work if they are not supporting you. You can’t please everyone.

get out gtfo GIF

  • Work your butt off for your craft. Be the best you can be and compete with only yourself. You are the standard that needs to be topped.
  • Be the Beyoncé in your field and let your work speak for itself.

the office beyonce GIF

  • Your bigger supporters may be under the radar. You don’t need people to shout from the rooftops that they support you to know that you made it.
  • Perfecting your craft takes time. As long as you’re growing, you are doing something right. Be unapologetic about your growth.I Aint Sorry Music Video GIF
  • Sometimes you just have to snatch wigs and take no prisoners.beyonce wig snatch GIF
  • Confidence is KEY! Make sure you believe in your work and OWN it.beyonce GIF
  • And lastly, always remember this is your work and you are the boss. Don’t let anyone treat you any less.queen b fashion GIF

Signed,

Art-yoncé 🙂

The Art Experience | Finding The Feeling of Freedom

20180827_224824_0001

July 16th was the day I felt freedom for the first time in a long time. In my favorite city of Chicago, sitting on the floor cross-legged, I had a blank canvas in front of me. My friend, Rachael, was already painting. As the “Have a Good Day” Spotify playlist played in the background, I looked at my blank canvas. I had to think. I couldn’t put anything onto the canvas until I had an idea. So, I finally eyed the color that I wanted. It was a beautiful turquoise color. It stood out among the bunch. This was it. I was finally going to paint.

In the corner of my eyes, I see Rachael going to town on her canvas. With little regard to any vision she may have had, she just layers colors on colors. Her fingernails are now a different color with a mixture of acrylic paint slowly drying on her hands as she is in her own world. I’m jealous because I won’t let myself do that. I’m trying to make sure that the paints stay on the clean plate I’ve put a couple dabbles on. The horror to imagine the paint getting into my manicured nails. I don’t know if this will stain or now. So, I carefully caress the canvas with my flathead brush as I cover the canvas with a sea of seawater blue. Every stroke feels like I’m transferring any stress from my body to the canvas. The energy is turned from stress to relief. However, in the corner of my eye, I see Rachael has now taken a cup, mixed with various colors proceeds to pour the entire cup onto the canvas. My GOD! I’m not OCD, but the mess! I’m freaking out in the inside, but more than anything I’m jealous. She’s so free. She is painting to paint without the restrictions of a vision. How ever her canvas turns out, it will be great. It’s a guaranteed masterpiece because of the energy put into.

At this point, I decide to get a little “frisky” and take a copper, metallic paint and softly stroke some on the canvas. It’s always a stroke. Precise and intentional. Boring. It’s okay. I’ve definitely painted something like this before. I know how it’s going to true out before I’m even finished. It’s my usual. It’s creative, but not risky. Just enough not to get me out of my comfortable zone. I don’t know what to do next because although this is quite boring, it’s nice. But, I’m jealous. I’m jealous because I realize I care completely too much. I was so close to asking Rachel to give me another canvas because this one was ugly (more so basic). It wasn’t going to be revived. I almost said that. But, thankfully I did something that I will forever be grateful for.

Taking a note from Rachael, I take all of the colors that spoke to me and I squeezed them on the back of the plate. Then I did something I would NEVER do at home. I took my perfectly structured canvas and splatted the paint on my canvas. And I did it again. And I did it again. And I did it again. When I ran out of paint, I put more on the plate and repeated the process. Every time I splattered the plate onto the canvas, I didn’t know what would happened, but I kept on going. I just did what felt good. I kept on splatting until I was satisfied. Then I looked at my canvas in complete shock. It was nothing I would expect, but it was everything I loved. It was free. It was freedom.

My canvas turned into art because I gave myself the chance to be free for once and not put expectations on the outcome. I did what felt good. I did what felt free. Sitting and looking at my canvas, I couldn’t believe I made something so out of bounds. What a masterpiece. What a mess and a masterpiece at the same time. My hands were now covered with paint. I didn’t even reach for a paper towel. I just asked for another canvas because I wanted to feel that again. I wanted to allow myself to feel and not think. Just do what feels good. Art is about feelings. If you don’t feel when you make it, no matter the sentiment, you aren’t really making Art. So, I attribute July 16th as one of my many recent awakening moments. That’s the night I fell in love with painting because I felt it. So, thank you to Rachael for being fearless and showing me that it’s okay to let loose. Here’s to painting more blank canvases and allowing myself to be free.

20180715_103618

So, whatever makes you feel free, do that.

Signed,

Art Undone

Dear ART at 25

Dear ART at 25-1

Dear ART at 25,

Hey Girl! I can’t believe I just typed 25! Woah, it’s crazy how time flies when you’re living life. I feel like we just turned 24! Anywho, here we are, live and in color.

So, ART at 25, I wish this that your 25th year is one of the best years of your life. This past year has definitely been one for the books. It’s been a fun ride that had its twists and turns. You thought you were done learning about yourself, but every day there seems to be more layers to this work of ART.

As you continue to live life, I hope you continue to learn and love yourself a little more every day. Also, don’t be so hard on me and your past. While we have made mistakes, we’ve always tried to do the best we can. It’s a learning process. You’ll make mistakes this year and possibly let yourself down in a few areas, but the good news is that if you stay true to yourself, you’ll make a way through.

Even better news, I’ve set you up for the ultimate come up! You know what you have to do, you just have to do it. Don’t spend so much time pondering what needs to be done. JUST. DO. IT. Yes, get up and do it and stop talking yourself out of your greatness. I may not have made every layup, but I have the ball in the air; All you have to do is catch it.

Side note: you know that one thing you ridiculously afraid of failing at? Do it anyways.

This year, I hope you surprise yourself. I hope you exceed every expectation you once had of yourself. I hope you get out of that comfort zone and rise to the occasion. You are gathering all the tools you need for your journey, the only thing that is missing is you putting your all into it. I hope you decide that you deserve to give life your full court press.

It’s important to remember that you’re not always going to be at 100%. Sometimes, you’ll be operating at a much lower level. That’s completely okay. It’s okay to do something, instead of nothing at all. Stop holding yourself back. Progression over Perfection.

Let’s not forget: No matter how strong you are, you didn’t get here on your own. You have been blessed with an amazing support group that shows up and shows out for you constantly. Don’t take them for granted. They have helped you grow exponentially. It still takes a team. Nurture those relationships.

Also, don’t forget to make yourself smile. I see some new things entering your life. Remember that the essence of ART is ART. Don’t forget about ART. Love her. Cherish her. Appreciate her and all her forms.

Remember, instant gratification is a sham. Save your coins so you can take even more trips.

Finally, just do the best you can with what you have. Cherish your family. Save your coins. Read more. Please read more. I can feel that this upcoming ART year is going to everything you could ever want in the best possible way. Get ready girl, because your future is BRIGHT and ready to shine.

I love you girl, don’t you ever forget it.

Love,

ART at 24

P.S. This year was LIT! Don’t let anyone tell you different. You lived your best life as ART at 24. Doors have opened that you have never even thought of and more great surprises are on their way!

P.S…. Every day the world is changing more than we ever thought it would. In some ways, it can be very terrifying. Please don’t forget that there are good people out there. Remember that you are one of them. Don’t compromise your truth for temporary gain or satisfaction.

Computer Love | Hitting Reset

Computer Love l Hitting Reset - 1

Has your computer ever start ‘failing’ you while you’re hard at work typing your heart out?  You have all your current tabs open and you’re working, but minute by minute, your computer is starting to malfunction. You have everything you need open and you’re working hard, but your computer is responding slower with every click. You get the same “time for an update” notification that you’ve ignored for over a week. You ignore it. You figure you can push through a little bit more and your computer won’t let you down. You are doing everything in your power not to have to restart your entire laptop, but you know and your computer knows that it’s inevitable. Just your luck, right?

Well, here’s the thing: Once you update your computer, you know it will work that much better. The update will also give you a clean slate to start on. You probably didn’t need all those tabs open anyways.  Even if you get the “restore all tabs” once you reboot, you’ll be more cognizant of overloading your computer the next go around because you remember how it felt to have start all over again because of the last reset.

So, ART, what the heck are you talking about? Are you really writing about a computer upgrade!?!

Just follow me… Imagine, your mind is the computer. While you may be the latest and greatest version, at some point, you’ll need to restart your computer and update (or reset). Imagine the tabs and programs are tasks and thoughts in your head. While you may be able to contain and process many things at a time, if you overload your computer, usually one of two things will happen: the computer will slow down and completely stop working (forcing an involuntary shutdown and reset) or voluntary shutdown and restart because you have taken the ‘power’ in your own hands. The choice is yours. It’s imperative to pay attention to the signals and know when to reset and when to keep going. Taking care of your ‘computer’ is the same thing as taking care of yourself.

More specifically, realize that sometimes you need a fresh start to operate better. It’s all great and dandy to be able to exit out of a couple ancillary tabs and keep it moving, however, a complete reboot comes with a clear mind.

If you find yourself working on a project for an extended amount of time and nothing is going how you imagined it in your head after multiple attempts or you see yourself slowing down drastically, don’t be afraid to completely shut it down and refresh. Yes, updating means you are completely taken out of your zone. However, this gives you a chance to come back with a clear head and fresh approach. Yes, time will keep moving and you may feel idle while everything is updating; However, tell me what’s better than logging onto your computer after an update with a clear screen and a clear mind? Also, the time you’ve had to wait and reset can offer new benefits you never knew you needed. Timing is everything.

So, go ahead and give your computer some love! Hit that reset button and update. Tell me how it goes :-).

Signed,

ART finally resetting